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Dr. Phil Stieg, Neurosurgeon-in-Chief of New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and founder and Chairman of the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center, introduces his new podcast, which will explore different aspects of our most important and complex organ – the brain. In each episode, this world-renowned neurosurgeon will present a view into how the brain works, what can go wrong, and what we know about how to fix it. Get life-saving information and timely advice on how t ...
 
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show series
 
Pain and fear are inevitable, especially these days, but we can retrain our brains to reduce suffering. Dr. Sara Lazar, Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, reveals how just eight weeks of mindful meditation can visibly change parts of the brain to be less reactive to pain. Plus... how meditation apps put the power of mindfu…
 
More than an evolutionary waste of energy, dreams are one of the last mysteries of human cognition. Dr. Raphael Vallat, a neuroscientist and sleep researcher at UC Berkeley, explains what we know about what happens during REM sleep, why we have recurring nightmares, and even how that evening cocktail affects your dreams. Plus… the weirdest things s…
 
A brain experiment on abstract vs representational art reveals the secrets of how we make decisions, and how we impulsive humans may finally learn to delay gratification. Psychologist Daphna Shohamy, Professor of Psychology at the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University, explains "construal level theory" and what that means a…
 
Delve into a comedian's brain to discover what makes people laugh -- and when the comic is also a neuroscientist, it's no joke! Dr. Ori Amir studies what goes on in the brain as jokes are born, and he's also learned how to “get out of his head” to write some pretty funny stuff. Be afraid: He is working on using artificial intelligence to come up wi…
 
Welcome to the International Brain Bee, where the innovators of tomorrow — most of them still too young to drive — are spending their days memorizing brain parts, studying neurons, and even dissecting cadaver brains. Meet Norbert Mylinski, who founded the worldwide competition, and Julianne McCall, a Brain Bee alum who is now ‎co-director of the Ca…
 
Menopause can wreak havoc on mood and body temperature as it signals the end of fertility, but some of the biggest changes it causes are in the brain. Emily Jacobs, assistant professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at UC Santa Barbara, explains how the precipitous decline in estrogen during the "change of life" disrupts the …
 
After the shocking 2011 shooting that sent a would-be assassin’s bullet through her brain, former U.S. Rep. Giffords had to re-learn how to breathe, walk, and talk. In the Season 2 premiere episode of This Is Your Brain, Dr. Stieg talks with neurologic music therapist Maegan Morrow, whose innovative techniques helped Giffords “rewire” her brain and…
 
One in three cases of Alzheimer's disease may be preventable, but some cases are quite predictable. Dr. Richard Isaacson, Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains how scientists look at genetics, lifestyle, and medical history to evaluate an individual's risk of developing the disease. Plus... how your belly…
 
What happens in a child's brain to cause seizures, and why have children with epilepsy been so stigmatized? In this encore presentation, Dr. Stieg talks with pediatric neurosurgeon Caitlin Hoffman, MD, and neuropsychologist Heidi Bender, PhD, to provide a primer for parents, classmates, and teachers. Plus... How best to help if you see someone havi…
 
In this encore presentation of one of our most popular episodes, Dr. Stieg talks to psychiatrist Richard Friedman about the neuroscience of fear: How parents can transmit anxiety to their kids, how some babies seem hard-wired for anxiety, and why a little anxiety is good for you (but too much is like a burglar alarm that sounds all the time).…
 
Microbes in your intestine are talking to cells in your brain all the time – and what they say can affect everything from inflammatory diseases to psychiatric disorders. Microbiologist David Artis, PhD, and psychiatrist Conor Liston, MD, PhD, explain the connection between your microbiota and your mind – and how to influence their conversation. Plu…
 
Diagnosing and treating attention deficit disorder can be tricky – not every hyperactive kid has ADHD, and some very calm children are extremely inattentive. Pediatric clinical neuropsychologist David Salsberg, PhD, explains what part of the brain is “asleep” in those with true ADHD, and how to identify kids who need intervention. Plus… when is med…
 
From drug cocktails to deep brain stimulation, there is new hope for brain-injured patients with "locked-in syndrome” in minimally conscious states. Dr. Nicholas Schiff, Professor of Neuroscience at the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine, tells the dramatic stories of patient reawakenings from ​comas lasting man…
 
What happens in our brains when we’re confronted with decisions? And why do some people dread making decisions more than others? Dr. Gregory Berns, neuroscientist and Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University, explains that there are different brain systems involved in the decisions we make. When faced with choices, we want to pursue pleasure…
 
​Dogs and the humans who cherish them have a unique bond unlike any other. We wonder all too often, do our dogs love us as much as we love them? What are they really thinking? Are we projecting our own feelings onto t​hese treasured family members in trying to understand them? Emory University neuroscientist Dr. Gregory Berns, has made some extraor…
 
Our thoughts about the future are directly influenced by past memories and our deepest emotions. Dr. Joseph LeDoux, Professor of Neural Science at NYU, gives us an intriguing look at the areas of the brain that create the uniquely human experience of consciousness and how our ability to mentally "time travel” allows us to form a personal awareness …
 
The pandemic has produced a dramatic new wave of loneliness for those coping with loss, grief, and social isolation. Although the feeling of loneliness is not a medical condition, it can easily transition into the clinical disorders of depression and anxiety. Dr. Richard Friedman, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains…
 
Blaring music, incessant traffic, those early-morning lawn mowers — you know they're bad for your sanity, but for your brain? Dr. Mathias Basner, an expert on the effects of noise on health, explains what goes on in your body when it's subjected to prolonged high-decibel exposure, including irreversible hearing loss, cognitive decline, even heart a…
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented loss — of loved ones, of social interaction, and of our entire way of life. Dr. Richard Friedman, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains why the anguish we feel is normal — and how specific coping strategies can help minimize the potential impact on brain health during per…
 
The COVID crisis is causing many more people to call their doctors with headache complaints. When is it time to stop self diagnosing your headache and to see a headache specialist? Dr. Louise Klebanoff, a leading neurologist and headache expert, explains why the right diagnosis can make all the difference in conquering most headaches. Hear about li…
 
How do elite athletes, some barely out of their teens, manage life in a fishbowl? Dr. Lani Lawrence, sports psychologist for the New York Giants, explains how the pros learn to cope with social media and news pressures and still find their way into “the zone” where they can excel.โดย Dr. Phil Stieg
 
Parkinson’s Disease patient Elizabeth Larsen gives a deeply honest view of her Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery to control her tremors. We learn what it feels like to have electrodes in the brain and what happens when patients want to change their tremor management software program. Thanks to DBS, Liz triumphantly regains control over her life …
 
From mild resting tremors to freezing, stiffness, and loss of motor control, the symptoms of Parkinson's disease progress relentlessly over time. Dr. Michael Kaplitt, Director of the Movement Disorders Program at Weill Cornell Medicine, along with his patient Elizabeth Larsen, explore how quality of life can erode over the years -- and when it's ti…
 
The COVID-19 quarantine has changed everything about love and sex. Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher reveals how socially distant dating can nurture a relationship by slowing things down and encouraging more substantive conversation and deeper intimacy. Long-term couples have a different problem as they adjust to 24/7 togetherness and learn to…
 
In the war on COVID-19, doctors face an enemy like no other - mysterious, invisible, and medically confounding. Dr. Laura Kolbe, co-founder of the COVID+ Hospice and Palliative Care Unit at Weill Cornell Medicine/New York-Presbyterian explains a new first-hour emergency room protocol. We learn how the palliative care team allays suffering, comforts…
 
Human brains are not wired for the staggering amount and variety of daily information coming our way. Dr. Marvin Chun, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Yale University, explains how our brains evolved to do one thing at a time, why they react poorly to the demands of multi-tasking, and why distraction undermines our performance and our m…
 
People with epilepsy have been stigmatized since the time of Hippocrates. Two epilepsy specialists, Dr. Caitlin Hoffman, a Weill Cornell Medicine pediatric neurosurgeon, and Dr. Heidi Bender, a neuropsychologist at Mt. Sinai Hospital, explain what happens in the brain to cause seizures. They give parents, teachers, kids, and their classmates a prim…
 
World-renowned soprano Renée Fleming is also a leading advocate for research and public education on the therapeutic power of music to heal the mind. Music’s psychological and neurological impact can help people suffering with dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders, and even restore speech after a stroke. Recorded live at Juilliar…
 
A three-year mission to Mars will have profound effects on bodies—and brains. The recent NASA study of twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly provides a new understanding of how life in space can alter cognition, heart health, and even gut bacteria. Dr. Christopher Mason of Weill Cornell Medicine and Dr. Mathias Basner of the University of Pennsylvan…
 
“Today Show” nutritionist Joy Bauer has easy, affordable, and delicious tips for making brain-healthy food choices. Boost your memory, strengthen your focus, and improve your blood flow by following Joy’s simple advice. Plus, the surprising benefits of coffee, and the 3 golden rules of snacking.โดย Dr. Phil Stieg
 
Dr. Frances Jensen, Chair of the Department of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and author of "The Teenage Brain," explains how vaping, binge drinking, and pot smoking are especially dangerous for adolescent brains. Young adults are more susceptible to addiction, cognitive impairment, and mental health issues when…
 
Anti-depressants don’t work for everyone. Psychiatrist Conor Liston, MD, PhD, describes four effective treatments that restore the brain’s lost connections and repair the cellular changes that cause depression. Magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy, and low-dose ketamine (“Special K”) have all been shown to relieve…
 
Artificial intelligence is ushering in a new era of mind reading, with advanced brain scans revealing much of what we’re thinking about. Dr. Marvin Chun, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Yale, explains how researchers in his lab are using fMRI and other new technologies to see what’s going on in your brain, even as you sleep. This holds …
 
Frayed social bonds, toxic and demanding work environments, and even helicopter parenting are all contributing to an American epidemic of burnout. Dr. Richard Friedman, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of the Student Mental Health Program at Weill Cornell Medical College, explains how we can better deal with everyday adversity, stress,…
 
New York Times journalist Rod Nordland is confronting his glioblastoma diagnosis with positivity, not despair. In this inspiring episode, he speaks with Dr. Stieg about coming to terms with the disease, what it’s like to live with his everyday challenges, and why he hasn’t shed a tear over it.โดย Dr. Phil Stieg
 
Dr. Richard Isaacson, Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine, shares the just-published results of his groundbreaking clinical trial which show that a personalized prevention plan can dramatically lower the risk or progression of Alzheimer's. Also joining the discussion is one of Dr. Isaacson’s patients who is livin…
 
Mass shootings, bullying and retaliation, and other acts of violence -- why did the human brain evolve to be so aggressive? Dr. Heather Berlin, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine, talks about the genetics of violence, the "mean girl" phenomenon, and why some psychopaths end up in jail while others land in the corner o…
 
How have sexual behaviors changed in our Millennial, #MeToo era? Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, PhD, explains the nuances of being just friends, friends with benefits, or a casual hookup -- and tells us how the trend toward longer courtships may change everything.โดย Dr. Phil Stieg
 
Some 46 million Americans already have the early brain changes that are the harbingers of a dementia that won’t reveal itself for decades. Dr. Richard Isaacson, Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine, talks about the three stages of cognitive impairment, how to distinguish “senior moments” from symptoms of dementia,…
 
Chronic pain is a national epidemic. Journalist Melanie Thernstrom, author of The Pain Chronicles, explains the difference between chronic and acute pain, how chronic pain rewires the brain, and the brain’s ability to modulate pain.โดย Dr. Phil Stieg
 
From Abraham Lincoln’s untreatable melancholy to the serendipitous discovery of SSRIs, we have come a long way in understanding depression. Psychiatrist Conor Liston, MD, PhD, explains the diagnostic challenges psychiatrists face, and the trial-and-error process to finding the right medication that frustrates both doctors and their patients.…
 
Stem cells hold the potential to change the landscape of medicine and bring patient care and well-being into a new era. Neurosurgeon Robert Hariri, MD, PhD, talks about the possibilities and promise of using placental stem cells to target cancer cells, control diseases like HIV, restore brain function, and extend life expectancy.…
 
“Neuro-pianist” and conductor Eitan Globerson explains the intricate connections between a musician’s instrument, hands, and brain and how the power of music can heal and improve brain performance and enrich our lives.โดย Dr. Phil Stieg
 
Coma and vegetative states are confounding for loved ones of brain-injured patients. Dr. Joseph Fins, Chief of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medicine, explains the sobering discovery of hidden consciousness in coma patients and shares a painfully fascinating patient story.โดย Dr. Phil Stieg
 
Throughout history, humans have experienced pain as punishment from the gods, a metaphysical struggle, or a simple biological process. Journalist Melanie Thernstrom, author of The Pain Chronicles, talks about the different ways humans have tried to conquer pain over the centuries.โดย Dr. Phil Stieg
 
Talking with your neurosurgeons during brain surgery may seem terrifying or like science fiction. But actually, as two patients share, it was a necessary part of making their surgeries successful. Dr. Rohan Ramakrishna joins Dr. Stieg to talk about how awake craniotomies provide a critical real-time assessment into the inner workings of the brain.…
 
The drive to reproduce – to move our DNA into tomorrow – may be behind our ability to do math, make music, and even play sports. Evolutionary anthropologist Helen Fisher explains why our complicated brains evolved in response to a very primal urge to mate.โดย Dr. Phil Stieg
 
A faulty risk/reward area of your brain can get you into trouble, but it can also free you to think outside the box. Cognitive neuroscientist Heather Berlin explains how the prefrontal cortex develops – or doesn’t – and how cognitive behavioral therapy can help you harness the power of neuroplasticity.…
 
Ethics and emotions often clash at the bedside of terminally ill patients—especially those with brain injuries. Dr. Joseph Fins, Chief of Medical Ethics at Weill Cornell Medicine, talks with Dr. Stieg about what we can do to best prepare for our final days and who has the legal and moral authority to make life and death decisions.…
 
A runner’s life-threatening brain bleed is repaired just in time thanks to a new minimally invasive procedure. Patient Mikal Scott talks about his alarming symptoms and fortunate meeting with neurosurgeon Dr. Jared Knopman, who performed the pioneering technique that’s now providing patients with a far better treatment option for this condition.…
 
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